DIVVY CASE STUDY
Massachusetts Horticultural Society grows their community with Divvy and Bill.com
with Jennifer Jones
Massachusetts Horticultural Society seeks to help people change their lives and communities for the better through the science and art of growing plants, together.
STARTED USING DIVVY
STARTED USING BILL.COM
“With Divvy and Bill.com we have so much more control over our financial processes than we had before.”
- One debit card used for all employee purchases
- No control over who was spending what
- 10 hours wasted each week on expense management
- Divvy cards for every employee
- Real-time insights into their spending and budgeting control
- Less than 4 hours deviated to expenses each week
As America’s first established horticultural society, Massachusetts Horticultural Society (MHS) has been practicing horticulture and is passionate about their mission Commune Bonum — Latin for the public good — since 1829. MHS helps their community by creating a way for them to get out of the mundane and back into nature. Through their library, educational programs, exhibitions, and community outreach initiatives, their goal is to get visitors engaged with natural landscapes.
“At Massachusetts Horticultural Society, we want to get everyone growing,” says Jennifer Jones, the Controller at MHS. She says that they spend a lot of time and effort creating ways to help their community. “You may come to our Garden to find a vision for your own garden at home, or even just to get outside and deal with the dirt and learn about plants. We see these as ways that MHS can help our community.”
MHS provides a number of valuable services including educational classes and events, a horticultural library, a beautiful garden for the public to enjoy, as well as venues for events including weddings or celebrations. To maintain all of these community programs and better manage their spending, MHS turned to Divvy, a Bill.com company, and Bill.com to simplify their expense management and accounts payable processes.
Before implementing Divvy in early 2022, Jennifer found herself spending too much time on expense management. “Before Divvy, all expenses floated through my office or had to be paid through my office.” Even so, they had little to no control over what they were spending. “We had one debit card that was attached to the operating account. Everybody had a copy of that one debit card.” Their daily spending limit was around $15,000. Jennifer was shocked at the lack of control that they had by using one debit card. “It was just really bad.”
“We had one debit card that was attached to the operating account. Everybody had a copy of that one debit card. It was just really bad.”
Not to mention, from an anti-fraud perspective, Jennifer had no way of knowing if there were any fraudulent transactions. “I often found myself wondering ‘who bought this?’ I didn’t have any transparency.”
“Divvy has opened us up to spending a little bit more money, but it’s a good thing.” Jennifer said that, before Divvy, employees would be told to spend a certain amount, but with little to no insight into what their budgets were, they felt like they couldn’t spend it. “I think that with Divvy, the fact that you have that budget, that’s like a number that you can look at when you log in of pre-approved money, it’s a lot easier to communicate the fact that there’s money to spend.
“I think that with Divvy, the fact that you have that budget, that’s like a number that you can look at when you log in of pre-approved money, it’s a lot easier to communicate the fact that there’s money to spend.”
Now that she can easily track all spending, she has been able to grant access to more employees. MHS has about 10 Divvy cards. “I’ve started ordering cards for everyone who comes on board. It helps with employee retention to give out cards and show the team that you trust them to manage their budgets, and make choices.”
If the Director of Garden and Programs needs to stop by a local nursery for plants, she can see exactly what she has to spend from her budget right from the Divvy app, request more funds if needed, and automatically expense every transaction in real time. “It’s empowering for employees and, from an organizational perspective, Divvy helps us to just get things done.” And what used to take Jennifer and her staff accountant almost 10 hours a week to do, happens instantly within Divvy.
“It’s empowering for employees and, from an organizational perspective, Divvy helps us to just get things done.”
Before simplifying their spend management process with Divvy, MHS began their digital overhaul in 2021 with Bill.com. Prior to Bill.com, MHS had been utilizing a manual, very paper heavy system to manage their accounts payable. “Before Bill.com, we were still using a paper accounts payable process. I was like, oh my gosh, I have so many other things to do while I’m here, I need to go digital.” Things got complicated when she discovered that many of their buildings had separate accounts for bills. “I was like, ‘why aren’t we just using one account for these services?’”
With Bill.com’s AP automation, Jennifer has gotten back an entire day per week to spend time on much more valuable projects. “As a controller, my job is so much more than accounting. Bill.com helps me limit the amount of accounting that I need to do.”
“As a controller, my job is so much more than accounting. Bill.com helps me limit the amount of accounting that I need to do.”
Today, Jennifer says MHS is running better than ever. “With Divvy and Bill.com we have so much more control over our financial processes than we had before. Now I spend just about 4 hours a week on accounting. I just look throughout the week to have oversight and spend a few days on my monthly close. And that’s it for me!”